This Forum includes an optional feature called "Karma" which allows users (at least somewhat established users, who have registered and posted a few times) to give positive or negative karma points to users who contribute something positive or negative to the Forum.
Someone who creates an interesting topic, or who posts an insightful post, or a good CD review, might receive positive karma.
Someone who breaks a Forum rule, or posts something inappropriate, or even who posts a "waste of space" comment, might receive negative karma.
I've turned on the karma option so we can experiment with it a bit. If it's used frivolously or spitefully, I'll just disable it, but if it can be used for a sort of "peer review" to encourage people to contribute, and discourage people from acting like fools, then we'll keep it.
The karma points show up under your name & avatar, each time you post.
is there a way to tell who gave us karma ratings?
No, in fact I don't think the information is even available to Administrators or Moderators. It's meant to be anonymous feedback to keep people from getting out of line, mainly on Forums where flame wars and the like are more common. I hoped the "karma" system would encourage people to be well-behaved, and to be constructive contributors to the site, and that's how I've doled out karma points myself (only positive ones, so far), but I suppose it could be used for anything.
Does anyone have any feelings about the karma system so far? Is it useful at all, or would people rather see it go away?